Steve Simpson (artist)

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Stephen Simpson (born 21 September 1965) is an artist and illustrator originally from Northwich, England, based in Dublin. His work combines folklore heritage from different cultures around the world with contemporary reference points. His work aesthetics has its roots in the Arts and Crafts movement, hand-lettered 50s advertising and folk art.[1][2]

Early life and education

Simpson was born in Chester|Chester, England, growing up in Northwich, Cheshire. A very early inspiration was his cartoonist uncle, John Geering, who landed his first comic strip when Simpson was 6 years old. Simpson would continuously create to impress his uncle who eventually took him on as his assistant during summer school holidays at the age of 14.

Illustration Career

In 1984 Simpson moved to Portsmouth to continue his education at Portsmouth College of Art. However, by the second semester he returned to the North West of England to take a job at Cosgrove Hall Films|Cosgrove Hall Productions in Manchester working on several animation classics such as Danger Mouse (1981 TV series)|Danger Mouse and later Count Duckula.

Simpson moved to Dublin, Ireland in the winter of 1990 where he continued working in animation, as a storyboard artist on a series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 TV series)|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and as art director on Budgie the Little Helicopter. Around 1993, Simpson joined the Cartoon Company of Ireland where he trained as a Disney artist drawing Mickey Mouse and had his initial introduction into the world of digital illustration.

In 1995, Simpson went freelance as an illustrator, cartoonist and digital artist. He had his own strip in the The Beano where he was the first cartoonist to supply digitally coloured artwork. He continued making art alongside his illustration career, participating in group exhibitions in traditional media across Ireland.

With the advent of digital communication around 2000, his client base became global. Some of his clients included Mini (marque)|MINI [3], BMW [4], Jameson Irish Whiskey|Jameson [5], National Gallery of Ireland [6], Grupo Modelo|Modelo, Adobe Creative Suite|Adobe [7], Penguin Books [8], and Universal Studios Hollywood.

In 2018 he was invited to be artist in residence at the National Gallery of Ireland.[6] He was also multiple awarded from The association of Illustrators UK, The Society of Illustrators NY, Irish Designers in Ireland, ICAD, amongst others.[9][10]

In 2021 Simpson’s debut in the Non-fungible token|NFT world with the release of a digi-physical limited edition piece 'Chaos' with Useum and Origin Protocol.[11]

Noted works

Live-drawing projects

  • Mini, The Road Trip to IMM 2017 art director Wolf Jasier.[4][3]
  • Stephen James Smith (poet), 2019[12]
  • OFFSKETCH[13] 2015-2020.
  • #OnTheDraw La Palma,[14] [15] art director Cristina Rebolo, Silver award 2015,[16] ICAD.

Packaging design

  • Mic's Chilli, award winning 2011, 2013[17] [18] [19] ICAD, Ireland.
  • Jameson Bottle, award winning, 2015[5] [20], IDI, Ireland.
  • Cardenal de Mendoza[21]



NFT Digital Art

Other Highlights

Simpson has designed over 100 postage stamps for the Irish post office, An Post including the 2020 European Capital of Culture. His artwork has also appeared on a 200 ft screen in Times Square.[33]


  • Becoming a Successful Illustrator[34] Derek Brazell, Jo Davies, 2013.
  • More than 50 children’s Books[35] including Day of the Dead [8] Karl Jones, 2013.
  • Comer Insectos[36] Isaac Petras, 2019.
  • Drawn to type[37] Marty Blake, 2021.


Simpson has taught illustration workshops internationally in Moscow, Italy, Spain, France, United States, Guatemala and back home in Ireland.[38][39][40]

Simpson has run workshops in art schools inc. the National College of Art and Design in Ireland, Savannah College of Art and Design (Atlanta) and National Gallery of Ireland|National gallery of Ireland. In 2020 he launched his first online course with Domestika.[41]

Talks and exhibitions

  • Gallery Nucleus, 2013 'Nautical nonsense: A Tribute to Spongebob Squarepants' - group exhibition[42]
  • Gallery Nucleus, 2013 'The physics of friendship: A Tribute to the Big Bang Theory' - group exhibition[43]
  • The Copper House Gallery, 2012 'Illustrated, as Advertised' - solo exhibition[44]
  • Affinity Designer Project, 2018[45]
  • Letters in Design, 2019[46]
  • OFFSET, 2015-2020
  • Behance Live, 2021[47]

Personal life

Simpson maintains his studio in Dublin City centre in close proximity to the National Gallery of Ireland and other museums which are a constant source of inspiration for his personal work. However, he loves getting back to nature and enjoys gardening, playing guitar and attending music festivals.


  1. Blake, Marty. Drawn to Type. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 9781350066915. Retrieved 2021-07-26.
  2. "Steve Simpson". Retrieved 2021-07-29.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Steve Simpson - MINI Roadtrip doodle". Retrieved 2021-07-26.
  4. 4.0 4.1 NaBUru38 (2019-07-03), English: Mini Road to IMM17 Art Car by Steve Simpson at the BMW Museum, retrieved 2021-07-26
  5. 5.0 5.1 Jameson Limited Edition Bottle - Steve Simpson, retrieved 2021-07-27
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Artist-in-residence \ Steve Simpson". National Gallery of Ireland. Retrieved 2021-07-29.
  7. "Steve Simpson - Adobe - banners". Retrieved 2021-07-27.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Steve Simpson | Penguin Random House". Retrieved 2021-07-27.
  9. "A magnificent display of advertising talent with Ogilvy bagging the bells". independent. Retrieved 2021-07-29.
  10. Newstalk. "2013 winners of ICAD awards announced". Newstalk. Retrieved 2021-07-29.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "USEUM Collectibles (NFTs)". Retrieved 2021-07-26.
  12. "Stephen James Smith". Stephen James Smith. Retrieved 2021-07-26.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. "OFFSKETCH 2020". OFFSET. Retrieved 2021-07-26.
  14. "#ONTHEDRAW | La Palma por Steve Simpson" (in español). Retrieved 2021-07-26.
  15. Enright, Damien (2013-12-10). "La Palma an island steeped in history". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2021-07-26.
  16. "#onthedraw in La Palma". ICAD. Retrieved 2021-07-26.
  17. "Mic's Chilli". ICAD. Retrieved 2021-07-26.
  18. "Inferno Sauces". ICAD. Retrieved 2021-07-26.
  19. "Steve Simpson - Sweet Chilli". Retrieved 2021-07-26.
  20. "Visual Communication | IDI Institute of Designers in Ireland". Retrieved 2021-07-26.
  21. "Limited Edition Jubilee 2016 Cardenal Mendoza Classic". Retrieved 2021-07-26.
  22. "Djeco Arty Toys Etnic | Djeco Arty Toys | Djeco Pirates Arty Toys". Retrieved 2021-07-27.
  23. "Steve Simpson - Pirate toy collection". Retrieved 2021-07-27.
  24. "Steve Simpson - MAXIMUS - figurine". Retrieved 2021-07-27.
  25. "Andrey Gordeev and Steve Simpson | Hasbro - Mendola Artists". Mendola Artists Representatives. Retrieved 2021-07-27.
  26. "Literary Collection". Steve Simpson. Retrieved 2021-07-27.
  27. "Steve Simpson". Damn Fine Print. Retrieved 2021-07-27.
  28. Laserow, Scott; Delgado, Natalia (2020-09-03). Making Posters. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-1-350-09016-3.
  29. "Steve Simpson - Ed Sheeran". Retrieved 2021-07-27.
  30. "Dublin: The Music Capital". ICAD. Retrieved 2021-07-27.
  31. "Steve Simpson - Music Capital 2017". Retrieved 2021-07-27.
  32. "Steve Simpson - CHAOS - NFT". Retrieved 2021-07-27.
  33. "Steve Simpson - UNREAL candy". Retrieved 2021-07-29.
  34. Brazell, Derek; Davies, Jo (2013-08-28). Becoming a Successful Illustrator. A&C Black. ISBN 978-2-940411-93-1.
  35. "Steve Simpson books and biography | Waterstones". Retrieved 2021-07-27.
  36. Comer insectos - Isaac Petràs | Planeta de Libros (in español).
  37. Blake, Marty (2021-01-14). Drawn to Type: Lettering for Illustrators. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-1-350-06692-2.
  38. "Интервью с иллюстратором Стивом Симпсоном (Steve Simpson). Советы начинающим иллюстраторам | ILLUSTRILLA". Retrieved 2021-07-29.
  39. "Encuentros con DONDE DORÉ. Encuentro con Steve Simpson". La Térmica (in español). Retrieved 2021-07-29.
  40. "Steve Simpson Lecture". SCADShow. 2018-05-08. Retrieved 2021-07-29.
  41. ""The Art of Record Covers: Illustration Meets Lettering" - Illustration online course by Steve Simpson". Domestika. Retrieved 2021-07-29.
  42. "A TRIBUTE TO SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS". Retrieved 2021-07-29.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  43. Behance. "Dr Sheldon Cooper". Behance. Retrieved 2021-07-29.
  44. "Illustrated, As Advertised - 7 - 27 March 2012". The Copper House Gallery. Retrieved 2021-07-29.
  45. Thomson-Morley, Charlotte. "Steve Simpson: 'Ever since I was a kid I've been fascinated by folk art'". Affinity Spotlight. Retrieved 2021-07-29.
  46. "Letters in Design". Retrieved 2021-07-29.
  47. Behance. "️ Best of Behance: Creative Q&A ️ with Steve Simpson! - 1 of 1". Retrieved 2021-07-29.

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